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  1. A Tale of Two Effects.Christopher Hitchcock - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (3):361-396.
    In recent years, there has been a philosophical cottage industry producing arguments that our concept of causation is not univocal: that there are in fact two concepts of causation, corresponding to distinct species of causal relation. Papers written in this tradition have borne titles like “Two Concepts of Cause” and “Two Concepts of Causation”. With due apologies to Charles Dickens, I hereby make my own contribution to this genre.
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  • Cause and Norm.Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.
    Much of the philosophical literature on causation has focused on the concept of actual causation, sometimes called token causation. In particular, it is this notion of actual causation that many philosophical theories of causation have attempted to capture.2 In this paper, we address the question: what purpose does this concept serve? As we shall see in the next section, one does not need this concept for purposes of prediction or rational deliberation. What then could the purpose be? We will argue (...)
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  • Understanding Interests and Causal Explanation.Petri Ylikoski - 2001 - Dissertation, University of Helsinki
    This work consists of two parts. Part I will be a contribution to a philo- sophical discussion of the nature of causal explanation. It will present my contrastive counterfactual theory of causal explanation and show how it can be used to deal with a number of problems facing theories of causal explanation. Part II is a contribution to a discussion of the na- ture of interest explanation in social studies of science. The aim is to help to resolve some controversies (...)
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  • A Model-Invariant Theory of Causation.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Philosophical Review.
    I provide a theory of causation within the causal modeling framework. In contrast to most of its predecessors, this theory is model-invariant in the following sense: if the theory says that C caused (didn't cause) E in a causal model, M, then it will continue to say that C caused (didn't cause) E once we've removed an inessential variable from M. I suggest that, if this theory is true, then we should understand a cause as something which transmits deviant or (...)
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  • Pre-Emption Cases May Support, Not Undermine, the Counterfactual Theory of Causation.Robert Northcott - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Pre-emption cases have been taken by almost everyone to imply the unviability of the simple counterfactual theory of causation. Yet there is ample motivation from scientific practice to endorse a simple version of the theory if we can. There is a way in which a simple counterfactual theory, at least if understood contrastively, can be supported even while acknowledging that intuition goes firmly against it in pre-emption cases – or rather, only in some of those cases. For I present several (...)
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  • Counterfactual Theories of Causation and the Problem of Large Causes.Jens Harbecke - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
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  • A Causal Theory of Counterfactuals.Eric Hiddleston - 2005 - Noûs 39 (4):632–657.
    I develop an account of counterfactual conditionals using “causal models”, and argue that this account is preferable to the currently standard account in terms of “similarity of possible worlds” due to David Lewis and Robert Stalnaker. I diagnose the attraction of counterfactual theories of causation, and argue that it is illusory.
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  • Grounding in the Image of Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
    Grounding is often glossed as metaphysical causation, yet no current theory of grounding looks remotely like a plausible treatment of causation. I propose to take the analogy between grounding and causation seriously, by providing an account of grounding in the image of causation, on the template of structural equation models for causation.
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  • Grounding Relation(S): Introduction.Paul Hovda & Troy Cross - 2013 - Essays in Philosophy 14 (1):1-6.
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  • Coincidence and Common Cause.Tamar Lando - 2017 - Noûs 51 (1):132-151.
    According to the traditional view of the causal structure of a coincidence, the several parts of a coincidence are produced by independent causes. I argue that the traditional view is mistaken; even the several parts of a coincidence may have a common cause. This has important implications for how we think about the relationship between causation and causal explanation—and in particular, for why coincidences cannot be explained.
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  • The Interventionist Account of Causation and Non-Causal Association Laws.Max Kistler - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):1-20.
    The key idea of the interventionist account of causation is that a variable A causes a variable B if and only if B would change if A were manipulated in the appropriate way. This paper raises two problems for Woodward's (2003) version of interventionism. The first is that the conditions it imposes are not sufficient for causation, because these conditions are also satisfied by non-causal relations of nomological dependence expressed in association laws. Such laws ground a relation of mutual manipulability (...)
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  • Two Concepts of Causation.Ned Hall - 2004 - In John Collins, Ned Hall & Laurie Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. MIT Press. pp. 225-276.
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  • Why the Exclusion Problem Seems Intractable and How, Just Maybe, to Tract It.Karen Bennett - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):471-97.
    The basic form of the exclusion problem is by now very, very familiar. 2 Start with the claim that the physical realm is causally complete: every physical thing that happens has a sufficient physical cause. Add in the claim that the mental and the physical are distinct. Toss in some claims about overdetermination, give it a stir, and voilá—suddenly it looks as though the mental never causes anything, at least nothing physical. As it is often put, the physical does all (...)
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  • Taking Control : The Role of Manipulation in Theories of Causation.Henning Strandin - 2019 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    Causation has always been a philosophically controversial subject matter. While David Hume’s empiricist account of causation has been the dominant influence in analytic philosophy and science during modern times, a minority view has instead connected causation essentially to agency and manipulation. A related approach has for the first time gained widespread popularity in recent years, due to new powerful theories of causal inference in science that are based in a technical notion of intervention, and James Woodward’s closely connected interventionist theory (...)
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  • Composition and Identities.Manuel Lechthaler - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Otago
    Composition as Identity is the view that an object is identical to its parts taken collectively. I elaborate and defend a theory based on this idea: composition is a kind of identity. Since this claim is best presented within a plural logic, I develop a formal system of plural logic. The principles of this system differ from the standard views on plural logic because one of my central claims is that identity is a relation which comes in a variety of (...)
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  • Preemptive Prevention.John Collins - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):223-234.
    As the ball flew towards us I leapt to my left to catch it. But it was you, reacting more rapidly than I, who caught the ball just in front of the point at which my hand was poised. Fortunate for us that you took the catch. The ball was headed on a course which, unimpeded, would have taken it through the glass window of a nearby building. Your catch prevented the window from being broken.
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  • Folk Intuitions of Actual Causation: A Two-Pronged Debunking Explanation.David Rose - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1323-1361.
    How do we determine whether some candidate causal factor is an actual cause of some particular outcome? Many philosophers have wanted a view of actual causation which fits with folk intuitions of actual causation and those who wish to depart from folk intuitions of actual causation are often charged with the task of providing a plausible account of just how and where the folk have gone wrong. In this paper, I provide a range of empirical evidence aimed at showing just (...)
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  • Causality as a Theoretical Concept: Explanatory Warrant and Empirical Content of the Theory of Causal Nets.Gerhard Schurz & Alexander Gebharter - 2016 - Synthese 193 (4):1073-1103.
    We start this paper by arguing that causality should, in analogy with force in Newtonian physics, be understood as a theoretical concept that is not explicated by a single definition, but by the axioms of a theory. Such an understanding of causality implicitly underlies the well-known theory of causal nets and has been explicitly promoted by Glymour. In this paper we investigate the explanatory warrant and empirical content of TCN. We sketch how the assumption of directed cause–effect relations can be (...)
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  • Manipulationism, Ceteris Paribus Laws, and the Bugbear of Background Knowledge.Robert Kowalenko - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (3):261-283.
    According to manipulationist accounts of causal explanation, to explain an event is to show how it could be changed by intervening on its cause. The relevant change must be a ‘serious possibility’ claims Woodward 2003, distinct from mere logical or physical possibility—approximating something I call ‘scientific possibility’. This idea creates significant difficulties: background knowledge is necessary for judgments of possibili-ty. Yet the primary vehicles of explanation in manipulationism are ‘invariant’ generali-sations, and these are not well adapted to encoding such knowledge, (...)
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  • VI-Causality and Intrinsicality.Ann Whittle - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1part2):101-120.
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  • Tim Maudlin - The Metaphysics Within Physics.Emanuele Coppola - 2018 - Humana Mente 4 (13).
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  • Actual Causation and Compositionality.Jonathan Livengood & Justin Sytsma - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (1):43-69.
    Many theories of actual causation implicitly endorse the claim that if c is an actual cause of e, then either c causes e directly or every intermediary by which c indirectly causes e is itself both an actual cause of e and also an actual effect of c. We think this compositionality constraint is plausible. However, as we show, it is not always satisfied by the causal attributions ordinary people make. We conclude by considering what philosophers working on causation should (...)
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  • What is a Mechanism? A Counterfactual Account.Jim Woodward - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S366-S377.
    This paper presents a counterfactual account of what a mechanism is. Mechanisms consist of parts, the behavior of which conforms to generalizations that are invariant under interventions, and which are modular in the sense that it is possible in principle to change the behavior of one part independently of the others. Each of these features can be captured by the truth of certain counterfactuals.
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  • Causal Exclusion and the Limits of Proportionality.Neil McDonnell - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1459-1474.
    Causal exclusion arguments are taken to threaten the autonomy of the special sciences, and the causal efficacy of mental properties. A recent line of response to these arguments has appealed to “independently plausible” and “well grounded” theories of causation to rebut key premises. In this paper I consider two papers which proceed in this vein and show that they share a common feature: they both require causes to be proportional to their effects. I argue that this feature is a bug, (...)
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  • Analysing Causation.Morgan Jennifer Margaret - unknown
    This thesis will survey several prominent approaches to analysing causation, discuss their differences and similarities, and look at a number of problems which are common to all of them. I will be arguing for the following claims about how we should approach the process of analysing causation. Firstly, I will be arguing that a reductive analysis is desirable, since if we can reductively analyse causation in terms of something empirically accessible, we can explain how it is possible to know anything (...)
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  • Overdetermining Causes.Jonathan Schaffer - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):23 - 45.
    When two rocks shatter the window at once, what causes the window to shatter? Is the throwing of each individual rock a cause of the window shattering, or are the throwings only causes collectively? This question bears on the analysis of causation, and the metaphysics of macro-causation. I argue that the throwing of each individual rock is a cause of the window shattering, and generally that individual overdeterminers are causes.
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  • A Probabilistic Analysis of Causation.Luke Glynn - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):343-392.
    The starting point in the development of probabilistic analyses of token causation has usually been the naïve intuition that, in some relevant sense, a cause raises the probability of its effect. But there are well-known examples both of non-probability-raising causation and of probability-raising non-causation. Sophisticated extant probabilistic analyses treat many such cases correctly, but only at the cost of excluding the possibilities of direct non-probability-raising causation, failures of causal transitivity, action-at-a-distance, prevention, and causation by absence and omission. I show that (...)
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  • Causal Powers.Eric Hiddleston - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (1):27-59.
    Nancy Cartwright offers an account of causal powers, and argues that it explains some important general features of scientific method. Patricia Cheng argues that this theory is superior as a psychological theory of learning to standard models of conditioning. I extend and develop the theory, and argue that it provides the best explanation of a number of problem cases for philosophical theories of causation, including preemption, overdetermination and puzzles about transitivity. Hitchcock and Halpern & Pearl on ‘actual causes’ Problems and (...)
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  • Causes As Difference‐Makers For Processes.Christian Loew - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1):89-106.
    It is natural to think of causes as difference-makers. What exact difference causes make, however, is an open question. In this paper, I argue that the right way of understanding difference-making is in terms of causal processes: causes make a difference to a causal process that leads to the effect. I will show that this way of understanding difference-making nicely captures the distinction between causing an outcome and helping determine how the outcome happens and, thus, explains why causation is not (...)
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  • Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part I: Causes.Joseph Y. Halpern & Judea Pearl - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):843-887.
    Department of Computer Science, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA judea{at}cs.ucla.edu' + u + '@' + d + ''//--> We propose a new definition of actual causes, using structural equations to model counterfactuals. We show that the definition yields a plausible and elegant account of causation that handles well examples which have caused problems for other definitions and resolves major difficulties in the traditional account. Introduction Causal models: a review 2.1 Causal models 2.2 Syntax and semantics (...)
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  • A Comparison of Three Occam’s Razors for Markovian Causal Models.Jiji Zhang - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (2):423-448.
    The framework of causal Bayes nets, currently influential in several scientific disciplines, provides a rich formalism to study the connection between causality and probability from an epistemological perspective. This article compares three assumptions in the literature that seem to constrain the connection between causality and probability in the style of Occam's razor. The trio includes two minimality assumptions—one formulated by Spirtes, Glymour, and Scheines (SGS) and the other due to Pearl—and the more well-known faithfulness or stability assumption. In terms of (...)
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  • Of Humean Bondage.Christopher Hitchcock - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (1):1-25.
    There are many ways of attaching two objects together: for example, they can be connected, linked, tied or bound together; and the connection, link, tie or bind can be made of chain, rope, or cement. Every one of these binding methods has been used as a metaphor for causation. What is the real significance of these metaphors? They express a commitment to a certain way of thinking about causation, summarized in the following thesis: ‘In any concrete situation, there is an (...)
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  • Interventionism and the Exclusion Problem.Yasmin Bassi - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    Jaegwon Kim (1998a, 2005) claims that his exclusion problem follows a priori for the non-reductive physicalist given her commitment to five apparently inconsistent theses: mental causation, non-identity, supervenience, causal closure and non-overdetermination. For Kim, the combination of these theses entails that mental properties are a priori excluded as causes, forcing the non-reductive physicalist to accept either epiphenomenalism, or some form of reduction. In this thesis, I argue that Kim’s exclusion problem depends on a particular conception of causation, namely sufficient production, (...)
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  • Events and Their Counterparts.Neil McDonnell - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1291-1308.
    This paper argues that a counterpart-theoretic treatment of events, combined with a counterfactual theory of causation, can help resolve three puzzles from the causation literature. First, CCT traces the apparent contextual shifts in our causal attributions to shifts in the counterpart relation which obtains in those contexts. Second, being sensitive to shifts in the counterpart relation can help diagnose what goes wrong in certain prominent examples where the transitivity of causation appears to fail. Third, CCT can help us resurrect the (...)
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  • Transitivity and Proportionality in Causation.Neil McDonnell - 2018 - Synthese 195 (3):1211-1229.
    It is commonly assumed that causation is transitive and in this paper I aim to reconcile this widely-held assumption with apparent evidence to the contrary. I will discuss a familiar approach to certain well-known counterexamples, before introducing a more resistant sort of case of my own. I will then offer a novel solution, based on Yablo’s proportionality principle, that succeeds in even these more resistant cases. There is a catch, however. Either proportionality is a constraint on which causal claims are (...)
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  • Contrastive Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (3):327-358.
    Causation is widely assumed to be a binary relation: c causes e. I will argue that causation is a quaternary, contrastive relation: c rather than C* causes e rather than E*, where C* and E* are nonempty sets of contrast events. Or at least, I will argue that treating causation as contrastive helps resolve some paradoxes.
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  • Faithfulness, Coordination and Causal Coincidences.Naftali Weinberger - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (2):113-133.
    Within the causal modeling literature, debates about the Causal Faithfulness Condition have concerned whether it is probable that the parameters in causal models will have values such that distinct causal paths will cancel. As the parameters in a model are fixed by the probability distribution over its variables, it is initially puzzling what it means to assign probabilities to these parameters. I propose that to assign a probability to a parameter in a model is to treat that parameter as a (...)
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  • Probability-Lowering Causes and the Connotations of Causation.Andrés Páez - 2013 - Ideas Y Valores 62 (151):43-55.
    A common objection to probabilistic theories of causation is that there are prima facie causes that lower the probability of their effects. Among the many replies to this objection, little attention has been given to Mellor's (1995) indirect strategy to deny that probability-lowering factors are bona fide causes. According to Mellor, such factors do not satisfy the evidential, explanatory, and instrumental connotations of causation. The paper argues that the evidential connotation only entails an epistemically relativized form of causal attribution, not (...)
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  • Where’s the Biff?Toby Handfield, Charles R. Twardy, Kevin B. Korb & Graham Oppy - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (2):149-68.
    This paper presents an attempt to integrate theories of causal processes—of the kind developed by Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe—into a theory of causal models using Bayesian networks. We suggest that arcs in causal models must correspond to possible causal processes. Moreover, we suggest that when processes are rendered physically impossible by what occurs on distinct paths, the original model must be restricted by removing the relevant arc. These two techniques suffice to explain cases of late preëmption and other cases (...)
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  • The Deviance in Deviant Causal Chains.Neil McDonnell - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):162-170.
    Causal theories of action, perception and knowledge are each beset by problems of so-called ‘deviant’ causal chains. For each such theory, counterexamples are formed using odd or co-incidental causal chains to establish that the theory is committed to unpalatable claims about some intentional action, about a case of veridical perception or about the acquisition of genuine knowledge. In this paper I will argue that three well-known examples of a deviant causal chain have something in common: they each violate Yablos proportionality (...)
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  • The Transitivity and Asymmetry of Actual Causation.Sander Beckers & Joost Vennekens - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4:1-27.
    The counterfactual tradition to defining actual causation has come a long way since Lewis started it off. However there are still important open problems that need to be solved. One of them is the (in)transitivity of causation. Endorsing transitivity was a major source of trouble for the approach taken by Lewis, which is why currently most approaches reject it. But transitivity has never lost its appeal, and there is a large literature devoted to understanding why this is so. Starting from (...)
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  • Causation and the Manifestation of Powers.Alexander Bird - 2010 - In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge.
    It is widely agreed that many causal relations can be regarded as dependent upon causal relations that are in some way more basic. For example, knocking down the first domino in a row of one hundred dominoes will be the cause of the hundredth domino falling. But this causal relation exists in virtue of the knocking of the first domino causing the falling of the second domino, and so forth. In such a case, A causes B in virtue of there (...)
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  • Causal Contextualisms.Jonathan Schaffer - 2012 - In Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives. Routledge.
    Causal claims are context sensitive. According to the old orthodoxy (Mackie 1974, Lewis 1986, inter alia), the context sensitivity of causal claims is all due to conversational pragmatics. According to the new contextualists (Hitchcock 1996, Woodward 2003, Maslen 2004, Menzies 2004, Schaffer 2005, and Hall ms), at least some of the context sensitivity of causal claims is semantic in nature. I want to discuss the prospects for causal contextualism, by asking why causal claims are context sensitive, what they are sensitive (...)
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  • Philosophy, Drama and Literature.Rick Benitez - 2010 - In Graham Oppy & Steve Gardner (eds.), Companion to Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand. Melbourne, Australia: Monash University Press. pp. 371-372.
    Philosophy and Literature is an internationally renowned refereed journal founded by Denis Dutton at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch. It is now published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Since its inception in 1976, Philosophy and Literature has been concerned with the relation between literary and philosophical studies, publishing articles on the philosophical interpretation of literature as well as the literary treatment of philosophy. Philosophy and Literature has sometimes been regarded as iconoclastic, in the sense that it repudiates academic pretensions, (...)
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  • Counterfactuals and Counterparts: Defending a Neo-Humean Theory of Causation.Neil McDonnell - 2015 - Dissertation, Macquarie University and University of Glasgow
    Whether there exist causal relations between guns firing and people dying, between pedals pressed and cars accelerating, or between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, is typically taken to be a mind-independent, objective, matter of fact. However, recent contributions to the literature on causation, in particular theories of contrastive causation and causal modelling, have undermined this central causal platitude by relativising causal facts to models or to interests. This thesis flies against the prevailing wind by arguing that we must pay (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Grounding.Michael John Clark - unknown
    The phrase ‘in virtue of’ is a mainstay of metaphysical discourse. In recent years, many philosophers have argued that we should understand this phrase, as metaphysicians use it, in terms of a concept of metaphysical dependence called ‘grounding’.This dissertation explores a range of central issues in the theory of grounding. Chapter 1 introduces the intuitive concept of grounding and discusses some compulsory questions in the theory of grounding. Chapter 2 focusses on scepticism on grounding, according to which the recent philosophical (...)
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  • Causality and Intrinsicality.Ann Whittle - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt2):101-120.
    This paper examines the relationship between causality and intrinsicality. Construed in one way, that relationship can be defended against some proposed counterexamples. However, I argue that trumping cases pose a more serious, if not fatal, problem. I then examine an alternative way of thinking about the relationship, but suggest that this too meets the same fate.
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  • The Presidential Address: Philosophical Scepticism and the Aims of Philosophy.Helen Beebee - 2018 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (1):1-24.
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  • A Partial Theory of Actual Causation.Brad Weslake - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    One part of the true theory of actual causation is a set of conditions responsible for eliminating all of the non-causes of an effect that can be discerned at the level of counterfactual structure. I defend a proposal for this part of the theory.
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  • Causes, Contrasts, and the Non-Identity Problem.Thomas Bontly - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1233-1251.
    Can an act harm someone—a future someone, someone who does not exist yet but will—if that person would never exist but for that very action? This is one question raised by the non-identity problem. Many would argue that the answer is No: an action harms someone only insofar as it is worse for her, and an action cannot be worse for someone if she would not exist without it. The first part of this paper contends that the plausibility of the (...)
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